This book is an analysis and study of postmodernism, political theatre, and the politics of representation. Traversing a wide span of twentieth-century political theatre and performance practices in the West, the author analyses and questions the performance practices of the historical and neo-avant-gardes, modernist political theatre, and postmodern performance in order to explore the relationships between politics, performance and postmodernism. Chinna contends that it is the provisional and contingent strategies of performance which set the model for the postmodern. Drawing on the poststructuralist theories of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jacques Derrida, among others, the postmodern is defined as a performance model – like deconstruction, endlessly deferring unequivocal meaning and final closure. It is argued that historical avant-garde performance practices such as Dada, as well as the neo-avant-gardes from the 1950s onward, were always trapped within a dialectic of representation and the ‘real’ in their quest for a merging of art and life.